Arkansas Nature & Outdoors

  • Lake Chicot, in extreme southeast Arkansas, is the largest natural oxbow lake in the country. Twenty miles in length, it was once part of the main channel of the Mississippi River. What Is An Oxbow Lake? An oxbow is a crescent-shaped lake lying alongside a winding river. The oxbow lake is created over time as erosion and deposits of soil change the river's course. Read more ...
  • Hot Springs National Park is the nation's oldest federal preserve, predating Yellowstone by some 40 years, according to the National Park Service.
  • Designated as the longest bayou in the world, Bayou Bartholomew begins northwest of Pine Bluff and flows approximately 300 miles through almost one-million acres of watershed before crossing the Louisiana border on its way to joining the Ouachita River.
  • The Buffalo National River, which meanders through the Ozarks for almost 150 miles, is the country's first national river and one of America's great natural treasures.
  • The Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro is the only diamond mine in the world open to the public.
  • The 40.23-carat "Uncle Sam" diamond, the largest such gem ever unearthed in the United States, was found at the Crater of Diamonds State Park near Mufreesboro.
  • One of the most challenging streams in The Natural State, the Cossatot River in western Arkansas, was named by Native Americans. "Cossatot" is an Indian word that means "skull crusher."
  • A 40-pound, four-ounce Brown Trout, landed by the late Howard "Rip" Collins on the Little Red River in 1992, set a world record that stood until 2009.
  • Lake Conway, built in 1949 to impound 6,700 acres in Faulkner County, remains the largest state game and fish commission-constructed lake in the United States.
  • Shock waves from the New Madrid earthquake of 1811 and 1812 were recorded in Boston, New Orleans, and parts of Canada. The "sunken lands" of Northeast Arkansas were created by the quakes, which continued several months.
  • The depth of Blue Spring near Eureka Springs has never been determined. It has been scientifically probed to 510 feet and legends say an anvil was once lowered into the spring on 900 feet of rope without touching the bottom.
  • The New Madrid Earthquake of 1811-12 is believed to be the largest quake in North American history. Shock waves rattled windows in Detroit, Washington, D.C. and Boston. The Mississippi River reportedly ran backwards and new lakes were formed instantly in Arkansas, Tennessee, and Missouri.
  • Camp Ouachita near Perryville is the last remaining Girl Scout camp in the United States built during the Great Depression by the Civilian Conservation Corps.